Country Road 10

Graphic Myriam Ouazzani

bright enough to hide the stars that guide us north

the moon’s stifling glow hoards the creamy black sky and blinds

us curious wanderers

we shatter our compasses and hold our thumbs over the radiant moon

we watch the glow trace our figures

on the passing pavement

we watch 

as the pavement tries to keep up 

with our finger swinging and head banging to teenage ballads

replicating every still to every syllable


with nowhere to be     a gas tank to burn    and time  to behead


our eyes map out the black abyss

our fingers point

our mouths place bets    play bingo in the sky   and argue

about how north the big dipper is

each of us looking further left than the other 

attributing wrong pieces of the sky  with light that did not belong there

each of us believing with our bones   that our collection of burning suns was the actual



we were all wrong 

but fresh  air  had us married to the thought of being right

we don’t question our delusion    but silently    embrace our self-proclaimed  succession 


we rolled the windows down completely

our bodies spilled out the car 

draping ourselves over the doors like flags

saluting   to the nothing in the dark

cheerfully waving ourselves for a directionless occasion 

no celebration inciting us to whip ourselves against the wind

only open roads    open air    and   fleeting moments  we wish lasted 

for just a minute longer.

This article originally appeared in Volume 44, Issue 3, published October 3, 2023.